Beginner White Water Kayaking

If you want to experience the thrill and excitement of kayaking down white water rapids then this is the course for you. We individualise our coaching so you maximise your experience and develop quickly. Fun rapids, jets and drops provide a constantly interesting experience.

  • Safe & fun rapids
  • Controlling the boat in moving water
  • Grade II+ water provides interesting water
  • White water safety awareness
  • North Wales provides year round venues, unlike other areas

If you can already control the boat on flat water then we can use these existing skills and applying them to the river environment. Don’t worry if you haven’t got flat water experience, we will plan in a skills session first so you are ready for the introductory rapids.

Reading the river hydrology will be introduced and how to stay safe and aware in white water. Friendly rapids will be used initially until your confidence builds. As soon as you feel ready we will move you on to more complex rapids. Learn how to handle and direct the boat in moving water, keeping stability and control. This can be used as part of a White Water BCU 3 Star Training Course.


North Wales is unique in that it offers a white water venue for all conditions. If it has been raining then out local rivers are ideal such as the Afon Llugwy in Capel Curig or Afon Glaslyn near Beddgelert. During a dry period then the River Dee near Llangollen offers a great beginners area or select sections of the dam released Afon Tryweryn. We also have predictable tidal flows in the Menai Straits and around the Inland Sea on Anglesey. River levels can change by the day so a base like Betws y Coed can provide easy access to all possible venues with any last minute changes to the weather. If you don’t mind risking a slightly longer drive should levels below then you can stay near our base at Arete Outdoor Centre, Llanrug.


We have a large fleet of white water kayaks so we can provide the best boat for everyone.  The fleet includes Pyrhana Burns, Karnali and Everest, Dagger Mamba and Nomad, Liquid Logic. We also provide Werner blades or similar. Along with bouyancy aid, helmet and spraydeck we also supply a white water cag and wetsuit. You just need to bring along footwear your happy to get wet, old trainers are ideal. All kit is included in the course cost.

What Experience is Needed?

This course is ideal for those that have flat water skills to paddle a kayak forward in a straight line, perform a variety of turns and be able to balance the kayak on an edge. Don’t worry if you don’t have this experience, let us know and we will factor in some extra coaching before heading down the white water rapids.

Course Costs & Dates

We run private courses for the Introduction to White Water Kayaking. Private course can be run on dates that suit you and allow us to tailor the course content for each individual.

Private Bespoke Course:

Up to 4 people – £250 per day
Extra people at £50 per person. Best to have a maximum of 6 participants per instructor

Note some sessions can be run at a ratios of up to 1:10, but you would be limited to very simple white water rapids at these high ratios. Extra instructors can be booked for bigger groups. Note our course costs include any river fees, unlike other providers.

We will arrange a convenient meeting point either near Bewts-y-Coed or use Arete Outdoor Centre as a base. Normally we meet at 0930 and return around 1630.

How to Book

Please either use our Contact Page or email with you preferred dates, any course aspirations and group size. A 30% deposit will be required to confirm the course once we have agreed on exact dates.